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Beginning T-SQL: A Step-by-Step Approach

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The card catalog at the local public library was my first database. The catalog made it possible to find books based on titles, authors, or subjects just like writing a SQL query. Of course, I could walk around and locate books because they were arranged thanks to the Dewey Decimal System, but having that old drawer-filled cabinet made it even easier. Decades ago, most businesses did everything with paper stored in filing cabinets. Computers and databases existed, but they were not commonly used in schools or many businesses until the 1980s and 1990s. Now, it’s easy for almost anyone to keep track of data in a local database or at least a spreadsheet.

The ability to query a database is vital for many professions. Of course, application developers, database administrators, business intelligence developers, database developers, and data scientists must be able to work with databases. What might be surprising is that professionals working in human resources, insurance, health care, government records, grant writing, publishing, real estate, and social work, to name a few, now must query databases. I often run into these “nontech” professionals at SQL Server events or the classes that I teach, so I know that SQL querying is an important in- demand skill in many industries and positions.

There are several database vendors, and this book is meant to teach T-SQL, the query language used for SQL Server and Azure SQL Database from Microsoft. Many professionals will find that they end up working with other databases such as Oracle or MySQL databases from time to time. The basics do carry from one system to another, but each vendor supports its own extensions, or flavor, of the SQL language. For SQL Server, it’s T-SQL.
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